How could anyone in a clear state of mind desire marriage after being exposed to such a brilliantly devised sequence of bitter-sweet remarks on the institution of marriage? In essence, when the bubble fireworks are out, Wilde’s play reveals its thorns, and they are aimed directly at the institution of marriage. Despite the happy ending, The Importance of Being Earnest takes a perfectly satirical stance in regards to the institution of marriage. Oscar Wilde takes pleasure in deconstructing the pristine facade built around the concept of marriage by Victorian society, and he is fearless in attacking its conventions. Wilde’s play does not celebrate marriage as the ultimate alliance by love, instead preferring to expose its “unstylish” side stained by hypocrisy and shallowness.
Love is perhaps the most actively sought moral objective of one's life. And though marriage is often thought to be the logical consequence of love, it is Oscar Wilde's contention in his satire, The Importance of Being Earnest, that love begets bliss and marriage thwarts this course of bliss. Algernon Moncrieff spends very little time falling in love and the rest of the time striving toward engagement. Wilde demonstrates through him that once one becomes intent upon achieving a goal, the individual's motivation becomes a matter of action rather than truth. Algernon is no longer driven by a moral objective; instead, he becomes intent upon achieving a societal standard.
But all good jokes get old and stop being funny, right? What happens when satire gets old? Let’s take a look at the classic play, written by Oscar Wilde ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ (1895). Satiric texts written over a century ago, like ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ still retain their punch in the modern day, due to the way they draw parallels to the modern world in what they seek to satirize. Wilde’s play, satirizes the Victorian era, specifically dealing with marriage/love and social class – both subjects which are still relatable today.
Cecily tells Lady Bracknell how she is engaged to Algernon and after much questioning gives her consent to the marriage. There is a common theme of love in this section with both Algernon and Jack revealing their true love for Gwendolen and Cecily. One aspect of comedy that Wilde has perfectly placed in this section is Algernon’s contradiction of views on marriage. This links with earlier in the play, when he expresses how there is nothing romantic in a proposal of marriage; whereas now he has found love, his view has completely changed. Wilde constantly contradicts the direct speech from the characters.
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde The Victoria Era of England began in the 1800’s with the reign of Queen Victoria. During this era, English society established a way of life they deemed acceptable to public conformity (Anacondas). Satirist Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde wrote many plays, poems, and novels seeking to ridicule this popular trend. An Irish immigrant turned English writer, Oscar Wilde was a man of interesting gossip and humorous satire. One famous play Wilde wrote was The Importance of Being Earnest which is a widely known play for its sarcastic plot of Victorian life.
Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest mocks Victorian love and marriage through different characters in 19th century England, which is wittingly displayed using satire. Aristocrats such as Gwendolen and her mother Lady Bracknell both hold contrasting views, which includes what they feel is required in a life partner. Lady Bracknell strongly believes marriage is just a financial agreement and will not let her daughter marry a man who has no status in society. On the other hand, Gwendolen believes love triumphs over wealth, but Wilde seems to change her meaning of love. So is marriage really a result of love or can it be possible that it is simply just a business contract?
In this way, the ‘earnestness’ of these two men is shown. Another of the conflicts that occurs in the play is marriage, and the guardians assent required for marriage. When Jack wishes to marry Gwendolyn, Lady Bracknell disapproves, so Jack refuses to allow Algernon to marry Cecily. This trivialising of the sacrosanct institution of marriage shows Wilde’s view on the matter: he saw it as “a practise surrounded by absurdity and hypocrisy.” In addition to this, both Gwendolyn and Cecily are sure that they could not possibly love someone whose name was not Earnet, which both Algy and Jack are not. (until Jack discovers his real name and family at the end.)
Austen succeeds in showing how the prideful nature of Darcy is unacceptable to Elizabeth and thus the reader knows that her refusal is based on her need for respect and love in a marriage. Lady Catherine insults Elizabeth when she thinks that she can manipulate Elizabeths happiness for her own image because Elizabeth in not “rich” enough for lady Catherine's fancy. When Lady Catherine visits Elizabeth and demands that she does not accept Darcy's proposal, Elizabeth refuses by saying, “ I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me"(Chapter 13 Vol.
The general assumption is that passions fade and couples start to look elsewhere or fantasize about different sexual partners. The question to ask is whether more marriages would have a longer lifespan, were monogamy not a factor. Some believe sexual attraction is part of human nature and should be openly enjoyed by a married couple, not repressed; as outdated and idealistic values would have us believe. The counter argument being that if sex is only indulged in for pleasure, it becomes more mechanical and lacks the emotional and intimate connection that monogamy holds; which is the underlying basis for what makes a strong and enduring marriage. The long and hard road of monogamy holds other rewards for the couple who aspire to the same goal.
How is the theme of marriage explored in Pride and Prejudice? The importance of the theme of marriage in Pride and Prejudice is clear right from the famous opening sentence. ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.’ Of course, Austen is not really being serious here; she is being ironic. In fact, the opposite is true – a single woman without a fortune wants a husband. Exactly why people married, and what they wanted out of marriage is explored in the novel.